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Thoughts On The Variety Set

Which cards from the variety set are going to make a splash and which ones to avoid, Yang deep dives into all the new cards!
variety set lor

What’s up guys, Yang here to talk about the new cards and try to evaluate them before the patch comes out! Of course, I’ll be having thoughts on the patch too and then my view on the new cards might change (but probably won’t too much).

The Variety Set in Eternal

I will mostly be taking into consideration these cards entering the Eternal metagame, as that’s the format we will be playing competitively now. There are a few of them that are much better in standard then in eternal, and I will comment on that, but my takes will be mostly tailored towards Eternal this time.

Perfidious Promoter

Perfidious Promoter

The best part about promoter is its statline, which really is telling for how good the card is, granted how much text this guy has. His effect really isn’t that bad, but the problem is that Bilgewater can only refill mana through CoinCoin and Attune units.

Historically, the only way to competitively use CoinCoin is via duplicating them with KarmaKarma or SeraphineSeraphine, and those decks have no space for Perfidious PromoterPerfidious Promoter. Furthermore, the best CoinCoin generator are in Ionia, not in Bilgewater, so you’re really forced to either lock your regions up on deck select or play a lot of attune units to just create random stuff. I don’t think randomly generated units will be very good for you, especially in eternal, where access to all cards in the game mean decks are as synergic as they can ever be.

Captain Indari

Captain Indari

She could be compared to both Genevieve ElmheartGenevieve Elmheart and Fleet Admiral ShellyFleet Admiral Shelly in a way, but she’s sadly worse than both of them. I would really like it if she would Forge herself, or if the condition to forging was different, as Plunder and Forging don’t really work together that well. Comparing it to Genevive, as a JaxJax card, she would need a bit more oomph to fit in decks, and comparing it to Fleet Admiral ShellyFleet Admiral Shelly, Shelly has already seen cuts from most Bilge Nox lists, so I wouldn’t expect a slower card with a harder condition and no repeatability to take up its slot. Indari is a decent card that’s sadly outshined by better options available in the deckbuilder.

Beguiling Cobra

Beguiling Cobra

The word that defines this card is “potential”. I don’t know what we’re doing that’s really busted yet, but simply double developing is great for both stalling and ending games. You could duplicate Pit ProfessionalPit Professional, Sai'nen Thousand-Tailed just to name a couple in Ionia. This card could also maybe enable some ViegoViego strategies as just another threat that has to be dealt with or else it will start doubling Encroaching MistEncroaching Mist generators. It can also double Rekindler and make a few four-development plays possible. We’ll see how eternal breaks this card – I don’t know how but so far it looks very promising.

Innovative Blacksmith

Innovative Blacksmith

This card reminds me a lot of Ionian HookmasterIonian Hookmaster, as a nicely statted improvise unit at a different mana breakpoint. She looks like a decent body that will have a decent effect and give you value on death, and that’s pretty good – I don’t know if it’s strong enough to just make JaxJax OrnnOrnn strategies for example much better. Historically, Ionian HookmasterIonian Hookmaster and Wandering ShepherdWandering Shepherd have had their statlines nerfed, and this card is very much in line with their pre-nerfed statlines. I don’t see it dominating the meta or anything, since Hookmaster mainly enabled Momentous ChoiceMomentous Choice and Shepherd is used to improvise something else directly, so time will tell how this card fits in Freljord decks.

Altar to Unity

Altar to Unity

Contrary to public discourse, I’m not seeing this card with bright eyes as it doesn’t strike me as broken or anything. There’s a handful of cards that work well with this in Silverwing VanguardSilverwing Vanguard, Mihira, Aspect of JusticeMihira, Aspect of Justice and LawkeeperLawkeeper, and I think this card will be pretty good with the KayleKayle package, but I doubt it’ll be anything more then that. Mihira looks like the strongest follow up play to this, as the 5/5 Lifesteal Elusive will allow you to recover the lost tempo from spending 4 unit mana to draw a card. I personally don’t see doubling a 4/4 Silverwing VanguardSilverwing Vanguard being that good of a play for round 5 eternal, but I can be proven wrong (though I don’t think I will be proven wrong here).

Blowback

Blowback

As interesting as this card is, I don’t think it’s any better then Get Excited!Get Excited! in eternal. I’d really, really like it if we had the ability to choose between dealing damage to a unit plus the nexus and dealing damage to two units. For now, I don’t think it will make the cut on Eternal but I do definitely think this card has a place in Standard.

First, it fixes KarmaKarma SettSett’s problem of not having a real win condition by enabling face burn options that aren’t super mana hungry. It also allows you to discard trash that KarmaKarma can generate on round end and with her champion spell, which is always nice. For JinxJinx strategies, I don’t see this working on the EkkoEkko variants, but it could be the last push that SamiraSamira JinxJinx needed to become a real deck in my eyes.

Sacrificial Scholar

Sacrificial Scholar

This card is really good and will be an auto include in PantheonPantheon decks while having the potential to just be outright broken. Now that you can grow fated units by simply switching weapons in them, you can grow this guy with weapons and use only high impact cards on him like Pale CascadePale Cascade and strike spells like the returning Concerted StrikeConcerted Strike or Furious WielderFurious Wielder. This card fits SamiraSamira PantheonPantheon’s threat pool perfectly and you can use it to spend vital resources on low-threat cards since you know you’ll regain said resources to deal with high-threat cards.

In eternal there is a chance this guy is held back by smallvoke, which I product might comeback in a big way with The SerpentThe Serpent being reverted, and this poor man will simply fold to EquinoxEquinox. We’ll see how it pans out, but looks like a strong card for PantheonPantheon strategies.

Royal Shimmerwing

Royal Shimmerwing

Now that we know most bird cards, we can see the pool of decks this card will fit in. Looks like it will mostly be Demacia Ionia archetypes that really use Fleetfeather TrackerFleetfeather Tracker, Petricite BroadwingPetricite Broadwing and ValorValor to make favorable trades and that’s kinda strong, but Demacia Ionia has been historically not good, especially in Eternal. Aside from that, I see combo potential in this card, since it is an aura that gives Quick Attack. Kind of reminds me of old AkshanAkshan SivirSivir Ionia where you can use temporarily given Quick Attack and transform it into Double Attack with Flurry of FistsFlurry of Fists. We don’t have the full list of birds yet, but if there is an elusive or overwhelm bird, there is combo potential, since you’re already in Ionia to begin with. I don’t think it will be a strong card in fair and honest challenger quick attack strategies, but there is combo potential to this card.

Grave Companion

Grave Companion

They did it, they released doggo InfernaInferna. The most appetizing part of this card is its 5 health statline, and I can see it be played in the Standard version of mono NasusNasus. You simply do the same trick the archetype does to fit VeigarVeigar in the build and not use a 5-drop, enabling your 4-drops to stick on the board and never get sacrificed. Grave CompanionGrave Companion can be the gas the deck needed to propel itself, and a possible upcoming SamiraSamira FizzFizz nerf in today’s patch can further enable the deck by weakening one of its worst matchups. For Eternal, we really have to see if self-slay archetypes can use this guy since he only triggers once every round. I’m hopeful, but maybe he’s too slow of a card for this fairly aggressive archetype.

Condense

Condense

People have been out and about this card all over social media and I think it is a rather strong card, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t think it “needs a nerf ASAP”. Of course, I could be completely missing the mark here on its combos, but it looks like the strongest use for this so far is the DarknessDarkness package, mainly Ixtali SentinelIxtali Sentinel and Dess & AdaDess & Ada, maybe The RekindlerThe Rekindler. I don’t like copying early drops a lot aside for ConchologistConchologist and maybe Twisted CatalyzerTwisted Catalyzer, and in the Eternal format where a lot of regions will gain access to pings again, you really need to copy an effect that doesn’t depend on the 1/1 staying alive.

Pack Attack

Pack Attack

I saved this one for last to talk about the fact Shurima didn’t really get any Cats and it looks like this card is a teaser/setup for the next expansion. I’m not a very big fan of that since this variety set is supposed to shake things up and support existing/old archetypes as well as create new ones. Shurima is in dire need of some good stuff right now after losing The AbsolverThe Absolver and could really use some love, but looks like it won’t be this time. Still, Pack AttackPack Attack really depends on how good are the cats present in the game and especially the region it’s in, as to not lock the player into a second region on the deck builder. We’ll see what cards end up being cats and how the next expansion pans out and will come back to Pack Attack in a few weeks to reevaluate how strong it really is.

In Conclusion

Those were my takes for the Glory in Navori variety set! I hope I could do justice when analyzing the cards and I know I was kind of a doomer on some of the ones people seemed to be really excited about, but I think I’m mostly correct on these takes. Let’s see what the balance patch does to the game, evaluate the new cards again and start deck building! I’m really excited to bring a bunch of eternal content in the next few days, so stay tuned and I’ll see you guys very, very soon.

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